Benfica’s Darwin Nunez drawing interest from Premier League
Manchester United’s hunt for a centre forward could lead them to Liga Nos and the talents of young Uruguayan no. 9 Darwin Nunez. He has been linked with a move to the Premier League this Summer after an impressive 34 goal haul in Portugal this season, helping Benfica to the UEFA Champions League Quarterfinals.
NEW:— UtdPlug (@UtdPlug) May 17, 2022
Manchester United are now one of the best positioned clubs to sign Darwin Nunez this summer. New manager Erik ten Hag appreciates Darwin’s qualities in front of goal and is in search of a goalscorer. @Record_Portugal #MUFC
United are in desperate need of a striker. Martial’s rapid decline in form has led to a loan move and he is a likely candidate to be sold this Summer, Cavani’s deal is expiring, and Greenwood’s return seems very unlikely after the troubling allegations that led to his absence from the team this season. Cristiano Ronaldo could stay for the second year of his contract, but it’s unclear if the 37-year old will be part of ten Hag’s plans as he tries to build for the future.
Nunez comes with some question marks, notably his likely heft price tag, but he clearly knows where the goal is and is keen to prove himself in a bigger league. However, with Champions League football off the table he may buy into a club already at the top rather than one with (hopefully) potential.
Frenkie de Jong wants to stay at Barcelona
United twitter lit up last week with the rumors that Barcelona midfielder and former Ajax player Frenkie de Jong might be making a move to Old Trafford to re-join old boss Erik ten Hag. Gerard Romero confirmed rumors last week, but has since stated that de Jong is keen to stay at the Nou Camp and continue with Xavi’s project.
Frenkie de Jong would be a major addition to United’s midfield, which will be lacking in both quality and depth this Summer with the expected departures of Pogba, Matic, and Mata, and possibly more. If he isn’t set on a move however there may not be much point. He will cost a hefty fee, rumored to be around £70m, and with a likely limited budget and a history of poor negotiations United should move quickly to find other targets if de Jong’s heart isn’t in it.
Antony and Timber linked from Ajax
The Ajax connection didn’t take long to show up in the Manchester United transfer rumor content machine. Along with former Ajax players de Jong and Mattijs de Ligt, current Ajax players Antony and Jurrien Timber have been linked with moves to Old Trafford after wrapping up their Eredivisie title defense.
Interest in Timber has been well noted for a few weeks now, with the versatile defender capable off addressing team needs at both right back and centre back. The Brazilian winger Antony however hasn’t been as strongly linked, with many clubs interested in his services. Newcastle and Liverpool among others are interested, with Liverpool believed to be Antony’s preferred destination according to UOL Esporte. Jurgen Klopp likes his versatile forwards, and could be on the lookout for future Mane and Salah replacements.
Dean Henderson again linked with move to Newcastle United
Manchester United’s no. 1 goalkeeper battle was much more shortlived than expected. Many came into this year expecting to see split starts between David De Gea and Dean Henderson similar to last season, but a positive Covid test and De Gea’s revived form as the fixtures came in hot means Henderson is now again considering his options.
Newcastle United have been linked with Henderson before, and recent reports from Samuel Luckhurst and Chris Wheeler indicate negotiations have started again. While other clubs are interested, Newcastle seem like a preferred destination for Henderson considering their upward mobility and ability to meet close to his current wages.
Newcastle United seem like a fit for Henderson as the new Saudi owners begin their sportswashing brand by pumping money in and building a new squad to challenge higher up the table. It’s unlikely that United will accept a low offer for Henderson, but are probably willing to negotiate down to move his wages and get some cash to fund their own rebuild.